Friday, September 07, 2007

Symbolism in Ritual Part 1

A ritual is most effective if it incorporates symbols with positive meaning to the meditator. I previously shared symbols that can be used, and some meanings for each. There are deeper meanings in these symbols, but I believe that each meditator may find these meanings for themselves.
Most of us can not dedicate a whole room, but we can set aside smaller area in a room which can be used consistently for meditation. It is possible to include setting up your space in your opening ritual.
The reason for sitting is to keep the mind alert and avoid falling asleep. The table top holds the symbols you are using. It can also be used as a special area for reading and writing about spiritual growth. If you keep a pen and paper near, it is helpful to jot down your experience or question or comment and perhaps come back to the group and share it. We all learn from each other, we are all teachers and we are all students. I have not met anyone that I have not learned from.
The mirror represents the search for the truths which are within us all. It has been my experience that when I discover a truth, I know it immediately as there is no doubt in my mind as to it's veracity.
I use two candles as they represent the search for illumination as well as the element "fire". They are also plain white tapers, also for the symbolism, a personal choice. It would also be appropriate to carry a small candle, perhaps a lit tea lite into your meditation area and light your candles from it. They would form the points of a triangle. The number three and the triangle are meaningful in most of the worlds religions and philosophies.
The incense symbolizes thought floating upward and out into the Cosmos as well as the element "air". I use a stone burner to represent the element "earth" as well as my firm determination to seek spiritual growth.
The bowl of water represents the fourth element "water" and suggests nourishing my thirst for knowledge. It also nourishes the rose. As the rose opens in beauty with the shining of the sun, the soul blooms in the illumination I seek. When I can, I float a rose in the bowl of water, but if I do not have one, I simply devote some thought to the thirst for enlightenment and the slaking of this thirst with the water of life.


goatman said...

I sit at the edge of a plateau overlooking distant lands, with a stream flowing down below near the base of the cliff. (A scene I once dreamed of but from a different perspective.) Thoughts are floating down the stream to the left and proceed into the distance.
Sometimes I see myself sitting on the edge from a vantage point about 50 meters behind. I assume that this is the ego watching on. But when fully in meditation, I am sitting on the edge--If that makes any sense.
Thanks for your descriptions, its nice to hear about the experiences of others.

Zareba said...

Beautiful visualization, Goatman. Thanks for sharing it.

I was gifted with a large framed photo of a lone tree at the end of a spit of land, a cliff actually jutting into the ocean. I had no trouble visiting it in meditation.

I have also visualized myself on an escalator.

Zareba said...

Hi Goatman:

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance E.E.Cummings

(I don't know what this means)

Saw this on your blog and just had to share with you it feels to me.

One can perform wonders if one follows the foow of nature. When trying to oppose her, we will not succeed regardless of how hard we try. Example...we can take a rose bud and hasten it's opening, but we can not take a full blown rose and make it revert to the bud it once was.

goatman said...

Thank you zareba, I had a feeling someone would help me with this. And I think your interpretation is a good one which I will ponder as I read some of his other works. I am just now discovering poetry as , previously, my training has been mostly objective and practical (not that poetry cannot be practical ??). So I sometimes struggle with meaning and depend on the gentle souls who visit my blog, such as yourself, to give me a hand.